Reasons to Fight For Democracy: The Mass Graves in Ukraine and the Murder of Mahsa Amini

It’s easy to get discouraged about the state of democracy these days. But what we have to remember is that it is worth fighting for.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been going on since the winter. In the liberated city of Izium, mass graves were discovered. So far, the number of bodies is over 400. Many of those killed were civilians and children.

Warning: the images may be distressing.

If this discovery is not enough to the world that Putin must be stopped and forced to stand trial, I don’t know what is. Unless we make it clear that this type of action is unacceptable, it will happen again.

In Iran, Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman, was killed by the morality police. Her crime was supposedly an issue with her headscarf. Since 1979, it has been compulsatory. As a result, protests have broken out. Many women have cut their hair and refused to wear the hijab in response to Amini’s death.

Religion of any kind is all well and good. But when the majority forces their beliefs on the minority and believes that one gender is superior or inferior to another, that is a problem we cannot ignore. If we do, it is at our own peril.

May Mahsa Amini’s memory and the memories of those murdered by Russia since the beginning of the war be a blessing. Z”L.

Advertisement

In International News: Palestinians Kill Their Own Children & Brittney Griner Sentenced Because she is American

Politics is a game of give and take. But there are some boundaries that if crossed, will result in conflict, in one form or another.

Over the last few days, Palestinians have been again shooting rockets into Israel, purposefully targeting civilians. Approximately 120 rockets never got to Israel proper. They fell to the ground instead of hitting their targets. Nine Palestinian people were killed, four were children. These people do not care about their own. They only care about making the Middle East (and the world by extension) Judenrein.

In Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in jail for carrying less than 1 gram of cannabis in her suitcase. After six months in prison, she pleaded guilty with the following statement:

“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here,” Griner said. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that, that is far from this courtroom.

“I want to say again that I had no intent on breaking any Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime,” she added.

After the sentence, Griner told a CNN producer as she left court, “I love my family.”

When breaking a law, one should be punished. But the punishment should be appropriate to what they are accused of doing. It seems to me that the Griner is being used because she is an American. Putin and his government cannot strike us directly, but they can use one of our citizens as a pawn. I do wonder that if she was paid the same as male basketball players, would she have had to play overseas and be in her current predicament?

There is talk of a prisoner swap. So far, only talks have been confirmed by either side. Time will tell when Griner comes home. But I am hoping and praying that she does so soon.

That concludes this week’s dip into international news. Thank you for reading and have a good rest of the day.

The Comparisons Between Israel and the Conflict in Ukraine is Both Wrong and Dangerous

Comparisons during any international conflict are inevitable. What we have to remember is to ask ourselves if this correlation is being backed up by facts or lies?

The war between Russia and Ukraine is nearly a month old. Too many have been killed, millions have been displaced, and a generation has been forever changed due to the ego of one man. Instead of doing what they can to stop Vladimir Putin from doing any more damage, some people have decided to distort the truth to fit their perspective.

Antisemitism is being used once more to twist what we know to be true. The claim is that Israel is to Russia as Palestine is to Ukraine. In other words, Israel is (again) the big bad and Palestine is the little person trying to defend themselves. As usual, the reality is being ignored. Not only is humanitarian aid being sent, but both the Israeli government and its citizens have welcomed refugees of all faiths and backgrounds.

Truth is powerful. It transcends disinformation and forces us to face facts. But, in order to do that, we must be willing to put aside our prejudices and what we think we know. The problem is that too many are unwilling or unable to see the truth.

The Ukrainian Invasion is a Both a Premonition and a Warning

It’s easy to take democracy for granted. It is only when it is on the brink of destruction that we remember how fragile and important it is.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday morning. The estimated number of casualties as of Thursday night was 137. While the rest of the world sanctions, condemns, and protests the actions of the Russian military, Putin acts as if he has every right to take over a sovereign nation.

In a previous post about this topic, I compared the invasion to when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. A more appropriate comparison is the German takeover of Poland in 1939. This event, as we all know, was the opening salvo of the European theater of World War II.

As both a Jew and an American whose family left Eastern Europe more than a century ago, I am scared and horrified on two points. The first is that Putin claims that he needs to “de-Nazify” Ukraine. Putting aside (momentarily) the continued misuse of the Holocaust-related language and imagery, he ignores the known fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also a member of the Jewish faith. Anyone with half a brain can easily see through what is nothing more than a flimsy excuse.

Among the many pieces of video that have been released, the one I find most heartbreaking is the man saying goodbye to his wife and daughter as he prepares to fight for his country. I don’t know about anyone else, but seeing this exchange was nothing short of gutwrenching.

I am equally horrified that several prominent members of the American right (i.e. Republicans) are loudly and proudly flying their pro-Putin flag. What was that about America First? More like Russia First.

I believe that this is a turning point in world history that cannot be ignored. We have two choices. We can pull a Neville Chamberlain and let Putin steamroll over Europe. Or, we can fight back and ensure that our children live in a world in which democracy is respected and protected.

From Russia With News: The Ukrainian Invasion and Kamila Valieva

When the Berlin Wall fell on November 9th, 1989, it was supposed to mark an era of peace and cooperation. Thirty-plus years later, that promise is nothing but empty words.

For the last few weeks, Vladimir Putin has been threatening to invade Ukraine. He also blamed the United States for opening the door to war and demanded that NATO not extend an invite to Ukraine to join this international organization. Thankfully, NATO did not give in.

Putin is not dumb, by any stretch of the imagination. He knows what he wants. He also knows the obstacles that stand in his way. If the Ukrainian government joins NATO, his bully pulpit is diminished considerably. Even if the invitation never comes, the support by the US, the rest of Europe, and NATO might be enough to keep his ambitions at bay.

The question is now, will this turn into the beginning of World War III, or is the rest of the world strong enough to stop Putin? The history nerd in me can’t help but see the similarities of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938.

While this is happening, a young woman’s life has been forever altered. Kamila Valieva was a favorite among the crowd at the recently concluded 2022 Olympics in Beijing. The expectation that she would return home with a gold medal seemed to be set in stone. During routine testing for banned substances, one was found in her system. This opened the door to questions of cheating and coming home without the highly anticipated first-place status.

My heart breaks for this kid. Getting to this level of competition requires more than talent. The drive that is needed to get to the Olympics is one that many would back away from. I don’t blame her, I blame the adults who were willing to cut corners to win, even if it meant sacrificing their star athlete in the process.

When this news broke, Sha’Carri Richardson spoke out about the obvious racial double standard. While she is 100% correct, what I think we have to remember is that Ms. Richardson is an adult. Ms. Valieva is a minor. It is possible that she may have been coerced or lied to about the reason for taking it.

I was in elementary school when the Berlin Wall fell. I can only hope that today’s elementary school kids will know a world of peace. But it looks like we may going to war, once again.

The President is a Traitor

The main role of the President of the United States is to protect the country and her citizens. His or her personal needs are second to the needs of the country. In our history, most American Presidents have at the very least, understood this concept. I can’t say the same about the man who currently holds the title.

According to a damning report in the New York Times, you know who was advised that Vladimir Putin and the Russian government has been paying bounties to to Afghan terrorists to kill American troops. Instead of supporting and protecting members of the American military as he has routinely stated, he is letting Putin walk all over him.

Putin is not dumb, by any stretch of the imagination. One does not hold onto power for twenty years without learning a thing or two. He knows how to play the game. The problem is that you know who does not know how to play, nor does he listen to those who have.

If this report is true (though knowing him, it probably is), then you know who is a traitor. He has sold this nation out for his own needs. What is worse, he has sold us out to someone who is using him to bring the United States to its needs.

If I were to list every reason that you know who should not be re-elected in the fall, this reason would be number one. He claims to be a grade-A salesman. Instead he is being sold a bill of goods that is putting us all in danger.

He MUST not win a second term.

Malaysian Flight 17

In case you haven’t been reading any newspapers or watching the news this week, Malaysian Flight 17 was shot down in the Ukraine.

Nearly 300 people were killed.

Ukrainian officials are pointing fingers at the pro-Russian separatists, while the Russian government is pointing their fingers at the Ukraine.

Pointing fingers is not going to help the investigation. It only makes it more difficult. What matters now is that whomever aimed the anti-aircraft missile at the commercial aircraft carrying civilians is brought to justice.

I would normally end this post with RIP, but considering the way these people died, RIP only seems appropriate when the killers are brought to justice.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: